Andrew Yang: In the minds of blue collar workers he met on the campaign trail, “the Democratic Party, unfortunately, has taken on this role of the coastal urban elites who are more concerned about policing various cultural issues than improving their way of life”
There is a lot of usual inside-the-beltway conventional nonsense analysis and bluster going around about the elections. Ignore it, it’s the same dishonest take we’ve seen in the mainstream media and polling organizations for years.
You should take some measure of comfort in the backlash against oppressive cultural elites forcing identify politics on the nation. You might not see it, because of how the presidential election (appears as of now) to have turned out. But there are perceptive analyses from two people to which I want to call your attention. They are anti-Trump, but recognized that Trump built a coalition rejecting woke politics.
First up, Andrew Sullivan in his Weekly Dish newsletter (sorry, no public link). The analysis is larded down with the usual anti-Trump vitriol and name calling, but as he has done before with regard to Trump, Sullivan drills down to some things Democrats/liberals/leftists don’t want to see or hear:
But Trumpism? It did far better than anyone expected. Down-ballot, many Republicans out-performed their nominal leader. The GOP made real gains in the House — during a health crisis and a recession — and will probably hold the Senate, effectively checkmating any truly progressive ambitions Biden might have had. The rural turnout was spectacular, responding perhaps to Trump’s incredibly boisterous series of big rallies as the campaign came to a close. This was far from the Biden landslide I had been dreaming about a few weeks back. It was rather the moment that the American people surgically removed an unhinged leader and re-endorsed the gist of his politics. It was the moment that Trump’s core message was seared into one of our major political parties for the foreseeable future, and realigned American politics….
His impact, however, is undeniable. Neoconservatism is over; globalization as some kind of conservative principle is over; a conservatism that allows for or looks away from unrestrained mass immigration is over. What was cemented in place this week is a new GOP, not unlike the new Tories in the UK. They’re nationalist, culturally conservative, geared toward the losers of capitalism as well as its winners, and mildly protectionist and isolationist. It is a natural response to the unintended consequences of neoliberalism’s success under a conservative banner. And it speaks in a language that working class Americans understand, devoid of the woke neologisms of the educated elite. It seems to me that this formula is a far more settled and electorally potent coalition than what we now see among the deeply divided Democrats….
Obviously a big majority of non-white and non-straight voters still backed Democrats. But the emergence of this coalition of minority conservatives is fascinating — and, of course, a complete refutation of what critical race theory tells us how minorities must feel. Ditto the gender gap. It’s there, but not quite the gulf we were led to believe.
Second is former Democrat primary candidate (and likely Biden cabinet member if Biden becomes president) Andrew Yang, who had an equally perceptive take:
“I would say, ‘Hey! I’m running for president!’ to a truck driver, retail worker, waitress in a diner, and they would say, ‘What party?’ And I’d say ‘Democrat’ and they would flinch like I said something really negative or I had just turned another color or something like that.” Yang told CNN host Don Lemon during a panel.
“So you have to ask yourself, what has the Democratic Party been standing for in their minds?,” he continued. “And in their minds, the Democratic Party, unfortunately, has taken on this role of the coastal urban elites who are more concerned about policing various cultural issues than improving their way of life that has been declining for years.”
This is all against the backdrop of a right-shift in the electorate. William Saletan at liberal Slate writes:
What the heck just happened? It’s been a crazy election, and ballots are still being counted, but we can get a few ideas from the exit polls….
First, this electorate seems to have been more conservative than the 2016 electorate. In the 2016 exit polls, conservatives outnumbered liberals by 9 percentage points. In the initial 2020 numbers, the margin is 13 points….
The conservative tilt of this electorate, particularly amid such high turnout, bodes ill for Democrats….
All of the above analysis is reflected in federal and state races throughout the country with Republicans far exceeding expectations and polling. It’s no substitute for winning the presidency, but it does reflect that the obsessive cultural purge being conducted on campuses and corporations is not playing well.
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